Trial court will start questioning the accused in the case today
Deposition of prosecution witnesses in the case relating to the murder of Revolutionary Marxist Party (RMP) leader T.P. Chandrasekharan was completed on Wednesday with the cross examination of Vadakara Deputy Superintendent of Police Jossy Cherian.
As many as 166 witnesses testified before the court since the trial began on February 11.
Now the trial court will start questioning the accused under Section 313 (power to examine the accused) of the Code of Criminal Procedure from Thursday.
However, R. Narayana Pisharadi, judge, Special Additional Sessions Court (Marad cases), will on Thursday decide whether to re-examine three more witnesses based on the applications moved by the prosecution.
The case related to a section of Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI-M] leaders in Kozhikode and Kannur districts allegedly hatching a plot and engaging a seven-member gang to kill Chandrasekharan who had walked out of the party and formed a parallel dissident outfit at Onchiyam. He was killed at Vallikad on May 4, 2012.
55 facing trial
The questioning of the accused will take more than a month. As of now 55 out of the 76 accused charge-sheeted in case are facing trial. The trial against 15 accused was put on hold by the High Court of Kerala while two accused were discharged by the trial court. A prime accused and former secretary of the Onchiyam area committee of the CPI (M) C.H. Ashokan expired during the trial.
On Tuesday, the High Court of Kerala had asked the trial court to complete the proceedings by November 30. This was after the judge sent a letter to the High Court seeking an extension as it had earlier asked the court to complete the trial by July 31.
52 turned hostile
The prosecution has originally submitted a list of 284 witnesses for examination. Later it excluded 120 persons, but brought two new witnesses.
At the same time, it faced embarrassment as 52 witnesses turned hostile during their deposition.
The court examined 569 documents, 105 material objects and 18 court documents submitted by the prosecution. Call data records of 50 mobile phone numbers of both the accused and witnesses were considered as evidence. Nodal officers of all major telecom companies also testified on behalf of the prosecution.
The defence counsels also submitted 20 documents to the court. Subsequently they will be allowed to submit their list of witnesses on behalf of the accused to adduce evidence, if any, after the questioning of the accused.
Meanwhile, Mr. Cherian, during his cross examination, refuted the allegation of the defence counsel that the investigators had fabricated evidence of the paint particles of the Toyota Innova Multi Utility Vehicle used by the assailants.
Replying to questions, the Dy.SP, who was part of the probe team, said that he was unaware that a case was filed against him at the Vadakara court regarding leaking of news about the investigation to the media.